We are so excited to partner with Paul L Foster School of Medicine Black Women in Medicine (Instagram: @BWIM_PLFSOM) with a two part series "The Cookout" to celebrate Black History Month. We will be exploring delicious Southern Soul Food and African cuisine in our posts and are excited to share them with y'all!
Soul food is associated with African American cuisine in the United States. Although the cuisine existed many years before, the term soul food was coined in 1964 to celebrate African American culture's contribution to the American way of life. Soul food really honored cooks who were able to create humble and delicious dishes despite limited means. Soul food originated in the rural south, utilizing common and inexpensive ingredients that were assessable to enslaved West Africans on southern plantations during the American colonial period. The origins of soul food recipes can be traced back to West African and European influences which were adapted to the environment of the American South.
Corn was raised as a staple in soul food and is extremely versatile. It was grounded into cornmeal and utilized for dishes such as corn bread, hushpuppies and breading. Corn meal breading really creates a gritty texture that absorbs and holds flavor very well. When fried as a batter, it keeps its contents moist, as it crisps up around it for a perfect "crunch". In this post we will be utilizing cornmeal to cook one of my absolute favorites, fried catfish. During my childhood, my family would religiously go this local restaurant that served soul food. I always ordered the fried catfish basket that was served with homemade tartar sauce over a bed of fresh fries. I have done a lot of research to recreate that nostalgic experience so that I could share it with everyone. I really hope you enjoy this dish and join us in celebrating Black History Month! Recipe adapted by Cajun Ninja.
Cook Time: 60 minutes
2lb of catfish filet
2 tbsp of mustard
2 tbsp of hot sauce
2 cups of flour
2 cups yellow cornmeal
3 tbsp cajun seasoning
½ Tbsp garlic powder
½ Tbsp salt
Parsley for garnishing
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup chopped dill
¼ cup chopped parsley
Combine all the ingredients and stir until completely mixed
Pat the catfish filets dry and lay them across a large pan.
In a bowl, combine the hot sauce and the mustard together. Mix the sauces well.
Heat cooking oil in a fryer or large cooking pan/skillet to 375°F. If you are using a fryer, you want to follow your fryer's manual on how much oil to use. If you use a pan/skillet, you want there to be just enough oil to be able to completely submerge the filets.
Using a brush, paint the sauce on both sides of the catfish filets. Be sure the whole filet is covered with sauce (Photo 1).
Pour the flour into a large pan. Roll the filets in the flour until they are completely covered by a thin layer of flour. (Photo 2)
Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk. Paint the egg on to the filets like you did with the sauce in step 4
Combine the corn meal, cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and salt into a large pan. Mix well. Roll the filets in the mixture until they are covered by a thin layer. Shake off any excess.
Fry the battered filets in the hot oil for 6-8 minutes or until golden crispy. If you are using a pan/skillet for frying, flip the filets after 4-6 minutes.
Layer the fried catfish over paper towels to absorb excess oil and allow to cool for a few minutes. Enjoy!
I absolutely loved this dish. The steps and techniques taken to create this dish really highlight the ingredients. Flavors are literally layered over the fish to create a delicious meal. This combined with the textures of the crispy fried cornmeal breading really makes for a satisfying bite. The moment you break into the filet once it has come off the fryer and discover the pure white meat of the catfish glistening in its own juices just really makes you drool. If you are frying with a pan, be sure to not overcrowd the filets. Adding too many filets to the pan at once can cause the temperature of the oil to drop, making it difficult for the cornmeal breading to crisp up the way it needs to. We hope you will try this meal and join us in celebrating Black History Month. The number of aprons this recipe will receive is...